Don your cowboy hat and break out the denim for a fun-filled family vaca. Ideally located an hour and a half from Manhattan, the thematically decorated Rocking Horse Ranch is the perfect place to bring the whole family (and extended family) for an affordable, convenient and activity packed bonding experience that kids and kids at heart will absolutely love.
My husband and two children enjoyed a serene and beautiful (but short) drive upstate to Rocking Horse just in time for a buffet lunch (reasonably priced at $6 a person – your stay includes 3 meals per night so we paid for one extra meal). My kids, ages 7 and 5, loved the buffet and helped themselves to the plentiful kid (and adult) -friendly menu items. But even the ice cream sundaes they concocted and photo ops with the characters walking around couldn’t keep my kids from hightailing it out of the restaurant and straight to the indoor water park. Though you won’t be able to fulfill your daydreams of lying amongst palm trees and sipping margaritas at the swim-up bar, I was totally able to sit back and relax as my kids took full advantage of the slides, fountains, spilling buckets, water squirters and obstacle courses for a couple of hours.
After a great time was had by all in the video arcade, we relaxed in our room for a bit. Complete with 2 queen beds and a bunk bed, this rustically decorated room is perfect for large families. Before dinner, we headed outdoors to the archery and bee-bee rifle range, petting zoo, bungee jumping and rock climbing wall and playground. There’s also an indoor ‘Fun Zone’ with bouncy houses, a mechanical rock climbing wall, badminton and indoor playground. Needless to say, my kids were having the time of their lives and not even the nippy air outside could squash their excitement. The Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit, but we will definitely be back to enjoy Rocking Horse throughout the other seasons as well. My kids are already demanding we come back to ski and go snow tubing in the Winter and then mountain tubing and swimming outdoors in the Summer months.
The sit-down dinner was equally enjoyable and the service was impeccable (although we did have to endure more than a few rounds of Happy Birthday sung by the servers to each of the many celebrating guests). It may not be 5-star fine dining, but I do love inclusive resorts for indulging me in my desire to try a bit of everything on the menu!
After dinner, the kids got on their pjs and we took a fun evening tractor ride to the fire pit to toast some marshmallows and enjoy the musical stylings of the resident singing cowboy under a starry sky. The night was complete with a fantastic magic show. My son loved dancing with the other kids before the show began and my daughter got up on stage to help with a trick. Though I would’ve loved the show to start a little earlier than 9pm, the day of fun made the late bedtime totally worth it.
The next day was equally jam packed with activity. A pony ride for my daughter, horseback riding for my son (ages 7+), more fun at the indoor water park, more yummy meals and paddle boating on the lake. And thanks to the drop-off childcare center, my husband and I were able to indulge in some massage therapy at the Rocking Horse Spa. You shouldn’t expect the décor, size and ambiance of a gorgeous destination spa resort, but a variety of spa treatments are available and the massage therapists are excellent. We were fully relaxed and rejuvenated as we emerged from the treatment rooms, picked up the kids and headed home. It was no surprise the kids fell fast asleep in the car with big smiles on their faces.
Visit http://www.rockinghorseranch.com for more information, deals and seasonal activities.